Oak Park village trustees on Monday night unanimously approved a resolution supporting federal legislation that would require criminal background checks for gun purchases.

The resolution, which will be sent to state and federal lawmakers, would also increase the reporting of mental health and other relevant records to a national database in an effort to keep guns out of the hands of potential criminals.

Former village attorney Ray Heise told trustees that his group, Gun Responsibility Advocates, was successful in placing an advisory referendum question on the November 2014 ballot to gauge Oak Parkers’ support for the federal legislation. More than 92 percent of voters supported the federal law.

“With rights come responsibilities,” Heise told trustees, adding that lobbying efforts by the National Rifle Association and corporate interests have “trumped the voice of the people.”

While several other residents spoke in favor of the resolution, a couple of Oak Parkers voiced opposition.

Resident Robert Williams said the resolution would “give up liberties and freedoms for a false sense of security.”

“Freedom is not free,” he said. “A lot of blood and treasure was spent to give us the freedom to sit here.”

Contact: tim@oakpark.com

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